Schools closed in Turkish town due to Syrian violence spillover

September 19, 2012, Wednesday/ 10:32:00

Schools were closed on Wednesday in the Turkish town of Akçakale, which borders Syria, after three Turkish nationals were injured in the town as clashes broke out between Syrian opposition fighters and regime forces along the border.

Head of the Akçakale District Education Directorate Ahmet Pala has said that classes have been suspended due to the spillover of Syrian violence and may remain suspended on Thursday as well.

The violence along the border with Turkey, which is a strong supporter of the opposition fighters trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, underlines the danger to the region as the Syrian civil war increasingly affects neighboring countries.

A Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said Tuesday that government forces and opposition fighters were engaged "in very fierce" battles near the border crossing of Tal Abyad.

Two women and one baby were hit by stray bullets and hospitalized in Akçakale, located in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. Reports said several bullets also hit the windows of Akçakale Anatolian High School. Authorities warned residents not to venture outside unless necessary.

Turkish state TV network TRT also said some opposition fighters had fled to Akçakale to escape the fighting.

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